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Re: Raptor Intelligence

On Thu, 16 Jun 1994, Garry Platt wrote:

> I have been reading with interest the comments concerning the T Rex's
> Behaviour in Jurassic Park and its attack on the land vehicle.
> There was another sequence however which left me feeling a little uneasy.
> The Raptor's level of intelligence was often referred to during the film as
> being exceptional (primate level?). But what evidence exists, what evidence
> can exist, that raptors or any dinosaur had 'intelligence ' as portrayed in
> the film, i.e. problem solving capabilities (door handle sequence) and the
> holding pen reference (testing the weaknesses of the holding pen)? This was
> referred to by the game warden, the actors name escapes me for the moment.
> Is there any factual or scientific evidence that can support the
> representation of the creatures as having intelligence on apparently the
> same level as primates? Or was this Hollywood taking liberties?
> If this level had been achieved might there not be case for supposing the
> use of primitive tools and tool making by some species? Pure speculation on
> my part but interesting.
Dr. Dale Russell theorized and created a model of what an intelligent dinosaur
might have looked like based on the advanced trend in characteristics in the
small carnivorous dinosaurs (namely: Saurornithoides). He based his work on
an increasing brain size, bipedal gait, enlarged eyes (binocular vision), and
manipulative 3-digit hands (one digit may or may not have been opposible).

Taking the model one step further...had the dinosaurs survived extinction,
it is possible that rudimentary intelligence would soon follow.  It wasn't
that long ago (about 2 mybp) that ancient homonids possessed only animal

Who knows...maybe someday the remains of a dinosaur will be found in
association with crude stone tools or an isolated hadrosaur femur is found
displaying cuts or chop marks made with some kind of tool...
John Schneiderman